His eyes grazed a portrait of the woman who wore a ring matching his own. Thoughts of whatever man might have indulged in her that night tainted the ones of pride or hope. The photograph in his dry fingers was of four people, taken five years ago. A woman and three children who wore clothing bought by the money he had made and natural smiles that were born out of a prosperous life.

The man placed the photo down, sighing, and found his way out of the dark basement. He sauntered to the kitchen, making a cup of coffee and grasping the newspaper his wife must have brought in earlier, on her way in from work. Listening to the sound of his children sleeping together in his old bedroom, he glanced at the clock and sat at the dining room table, letting the coffee scold his tongue as he rummaged through the paper until the want adds were visible.

Jobs these days were for the young and courageous, the ones who had a lot to learn but weren't afraid of failure. No one was asking for a man who had been born into success and eaten alive when he tried to make his own life. A man like that would be deemed useless by anyone's common sense, his own included.

If there was no work, there was nothing for him. There was no way for a jobless man, too old and unsightly to even whore himself out, to hold any worth. Where he used to talk about his children, the children raised by his hand and wallet, he now spoke of tough times and finding an opportunity in such a hopeless world. He had nothing, so he would need to search for an opportunity to give him anything.

The man stood, tearing away the piece of news that he needed, and set down his mug. The striped glare from the shaded windows slashed at his eyes when he walked to the door, grabbed his coat, and slipped on his shoes. He pulled against the copper doorknob, and squinted at the light, when footsteps behind him summoned his gaze.

"Are you heading out, Honey?"

The soft words floated from a dark skinned woman draped in long pink pajama that came from her bedroom, and stepped into her living room. She yawned humbly, closing her green eyes before her lips bowed politely upward.

"Yeah… I'll be back in a few hours." The man paused, looking at his smiling wife in honest awe. This woman had given so much for her family, and that had escaped him in the minor moments of depression the start of a new warlike day sometimes gave him.

"All right," She said, coming forth and kissing the pale man's cheek, "good luck, I love you."

Daniel's muscles contracted, churning at the warm touch, and he replied delicately, "Yeah… I love you too."


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